26 Nov LTFF Blog: A Day in the Life of Mother Road Market’s Event Coordinator
By Sam Extance, Mother Road Market Event Coordinator
Saturdays are my favorite day at Mother Road Market. It’s bustling with events and activity—the food hall coming alive with a cacophony of laughter, conversation, and merchants calling out people’s orders as they’re ready. My day begins early; I arrive to the market when it is still dark. I savor the calm and the quiet—the anticipation of the day.
I say good morning to Morgan at Bakeshop who is busy tending to the pastries and breads that will adorn their lovely shop front. The smell of yeast and cinnamon rising in the air. I linger here a bit to take in the scents and to pick out breakfast for later. By now, Kris and Penni from the Tulsa Farmers’ Market have arrived and the farmers trickle inside for a bit of warmth and coffee before setting up. The back parking lot transforms into a farmers’ bazaar with tents and trailers popping up to sell seasonal produce, meats, and dairy. Sometimes there are flowers too, and on these days, I stop
and drink them in.
I make my way over to our covered patio and visualize the game plan. With the help of one of our roadies, we begin re-arranging the furniture for the morning’s events. It varies, but most Saturdays we have yoga. We clear the green to make space for the class and the rows of yoga mats that will grace it before moving inside to pre-set story time. Story time is the event I take the most pride in. I’m happiest when setting it up. I can’t help thinking of the new words kids might learn or ideas the story may spark. It gives me a sense of real accomplishment. Once a teacher, always a teacher. I place the chairs for our story time readers, volunteers from our community, who I am so grateful for, and stools for all the kids near the play area inside. Soon this spot will be
alive with giggles, words, and play.
My next stop is The Vault, our retail pop up space. As a maker myself, this part of the market also brings me a lot of joy. Here small businesses and handmade side-hustles can sell their items and build a bigger fan base. Today, Kevin from Elevated Candles is popped up. I roll in 3 chrome shelves and set up a table and chairs for him. We tackle how to affix his sign to the table together. I snap some pictures and head off to my next
I pop over to the Demonstration Kitchen to start setting up for a cooking class taking place in the evening. Tonight, it’s an interactive vegan Indian cooking dinner taught by Niki, also known as Spiced Apron. Her cooking class and dinner will have several courses and needs tables for cooking, staging and plating meals, and for the wine accompanying the meal. I arrange the tables and chairs and grab the equipment she needs. Last, I write out their menu on one of our chalkboard frames and add small decorative flourishes here and there. All the while I am thinking of the conversations that will happen over dinner and how cumin, coconut, and ginger will season their discussion.
I walk the entire expanse of the market many times on Saturdays, checking in on all of the events and problem-solving on the spot when it’s needed. It’s on these many walks, that I catch glimpses of people enjoying themselves, immersed in one of our activities. I revel in these small moments. It’s for these moments that I work so hard. Event planning is about creating possibilities for connection, laughter, and memory making.
See you at Mother Road Market. Let’s make some more memories together! Visit www.motherroadmarket.com/events for a complete list of our upcoming events!